Friday, December 21, 2012

Sunrise December 21

Great way to start my day with an awesome sunrise this morning

Monday, December 17, 2012

Union Square in December

Cable Cars are decked out for Christmas in San Francisco.

The Christmas Tree in Union Square rises above the palm trees.

City reflections are caught in the huge Christmas ornaments.

Skates enjoy their time on the ice rink.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sunrise in December

so many colors this time of year...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Sunset

The sunset last night was amazing. It started out one color and moved into several shades of pink and orange.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Do Before You Travel

Your plans are made, tickets purchased, and hotels are reserved. That's just the beginning of the trip planning process. Depending upon how long you will be gone, you will need to do a few more things before you leave home.

If you have pets, do you have a pet sitter or are they going to a kennel? Do you have a house sitter or someone to look after things? Did you give that person a list with your itinerary and phone numbers? Did you stop your newspaper or is someone going to pick it up out of your driveway or sidewalk?

If you are travelling outside of the US, do you need to get some foreign currency before you leave? Or, do you know where you can get it once you land? Keep in mind, you will pay an exchange rate. Know where those are the highest and avoid those spots.

Did you call your credit card companies to let them know you will be charging in a location other than your home state? This is especially true if leaving the US.

Check to see if your phone works wherever you are travelling. If it is in the US, do you need your earpiece?

Did you check the weather before you packed? Do you need that rain coat or umbrella? Do you have your maps and guidebooks?

Did you make your list...and check it twice? Happy Travelling.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Seashells as Souvenirs

Souvenirs from trips are fun to collect, but you don't always have to buy them. When visiting the beach, pick up seashells or small rocks. Carry a resealable plastic bag with you to keep them away from the rest of your things. Once you are settled in your hotel or once you arrive back home, remember to wash the shells to make sure there are no unwanted critters still living in them.

These natural reminders of your trip will probably mean more once you get them back home than if you spent money on something.

Not sure what to do with them once you get home? Fill a small dish with the shells and place it in your bathroom. Or use the seashells and rocks around your potted plants or in your garden. If you visit several beaches, fill a glass jar or container to display them. You could even add some beach sand in the bottom of the jar.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

San Francisco Auto Show 2012

Some favorites at the San Francisco Auto Show...the new Mercedes gullwing

Classic Ferrari cars

Look at all those headlights


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wild Cats and Wine at Peterson Winery

The Wild Cat Education and Conservation Fund gave us a glimpse of two cats living in northern California.

They take these and other cats to schools to teach kids about our native animals.

At Peterson Winery, we met a bobcat and a mountain lion. Both are wild animals, not trained pets. Both were amazing.

The credentialed teachers combine fun and learning for school kids. For was the same. Fun and educational. Each cat was presented on a leash and the teachers explained natural habitat, behaviors, and the individual animal's characteristics.

They have several wild cats including cheetah, bobcats, ocelots, servals, Canada lynx, Siberian lynx, Geoffryoy's cat, and mountain lions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

City Passes Can Save You Time and Money

Many cities such as Paris, London, New York, and Rome offer city passes which include admission to popular museums, galleries, and attractions. Some include transportation passes. Most allow you to skip the long check in lines and go directly to the will call or purchased ticket lines. Check to see how many days you will be in that city and then purchase your pass for one day or for multiple days.

Almost all will save you money and time, allowing you to spend more time visiting your favorite sites.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lose Your Passport? Here's What To Do

What should you do if your passport is stolen or lost?

If you feel it has been stolen, immediately visit the local police station. File a report and make sure to get a copy of that report.

If you are abroad, your next step should be to visit the US Embassy or Consulate. Bring all of your identification and documentation with you, as well as someone who can vouch for you if necessary. You should be able to receive a temporary passport.

If you are in the US, file the police report and then fill out form DS-64 from the State Department. This will allow you to apply for a new passport. You will need the appropriate documentation as if filing the first time.

Either way, you can get a replacement.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Faux Label Souvenirs? Maybe Think Twice. . .

Have you ever been tempted to buy a knock-off or faux label souvenir when traveling? Many look like the real thing...until you look closely.

Still, I see them all over the place when traveling. Chanel or Dolce and Gabbana bags on the streets of Florence, Mickey Mouse or Rolex watches on the street corners in New York, designer scarves and sunglasses in so many places.

Did you know that the real labels are subject to U.S. copyright and trademark protections? What does this mean to you as a traveler? Your purchase could be confiscated by customs. If you only have one item, they may grant you an exception and let you keep it. But, they don't have to. only get one exemption every 30 days.

Just something to think about when you're pondering the price of that high end bag, sold by a young kid who's looking over his shoulder for the cops.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Vitus Merlot Grapes Waiting To Become Great Wine

Vitus Merlot grapes sitting in their tub, just waiting to be punched down. The wine will be a few years.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rodney Strong Wines. Delightful!

Last night the Rodney Strong Pinot from Sonoma County rounded out both the salad and a chicken dish.  It's slightly fruity nose and mild spicy taste paired nicely.

Not only does it look's a great wine to sip without food as well.

Work Issues Solved!

I was preparing to participate in a Taste Live event online last night. But, I had problems. Someone decided to sleep on my paperwork.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Some Travel Phone Apps For You

So many of us have smartphones. Check out these apps that may help you in planning your next flight or your time in the airport.

You may have used to find the best seat when you booked your flight at home. In case you forgot, pull out your phone and use the SeatGuru app, choose the seat map advice option, put in your flight number, and pick your seat from the ones still available.

Do you have some time in the airport and want to grab some food? Use the GateGuru app. Just add your airport and terminal to find the eateries, services, and shops nearby. You can also find out how other travelers have rated those places and where to find a deal.

Have a good flight.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Terraces Vineyard Ready For Harvest

Grapes just waiting for the right moment to be picked.

These are so sweet. I can't wait to taste them in the bottle.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Disposable Shower Caps and Little Tricks With Them

You know those disposable shower caps in hotel rooms that you always overlook? You might be surprised at what you can do with them when you travel.

Are you packing shoes in your suitcase that you don't want to get scuffed? Place each shoe in its own shower cap to protect its finish. Or, are you packing tennis shoes with sturdy soles? Put one shoe in its own cap and those rough soles won't scrape up against more delicate items.

Did you just polish your shoes before you started to pack your suitcase? Again, use a shower cap for each shoe and the recent polish won't end up on your clothes.

The next time you see them in your hotel bathroom, grab the shower caps and toss them in your suitcase. You can always save them for later.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

San Diego

These two look pretty lazy here. Guess they must have just finished tearing around the back yard.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't Drink the Water

When traveling in a region with a questionable water supply or trekking through the back country, how do you know when it's okay to drink the water?

Here's a thought. If your lodgings don't allow you to flush the toilet paper...don't drink the water. When hiking, water in streams may look crystal clear...but don't risk drinking it. Also, think about how else you may be getting unsafe water into your body.

Don't allow ice cubes in your drink or cocktail. Water or soda from a bottle is fine, but don't pour it over ice. Plus, don't drink any shower water or brush your teeth with tap water. Eat foods that are cooked. Which means no lettuce salads.

You could purify your own water with iodine tablets or portable water purifies used by campers and hikers.  Keep some hand sanitizing wipes handy as well.

Use common sense and you can avoid pesky or dangerous infections when traveling.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday in San Francisco

Blooms at the Farmer's Market in San Francisco

Anyone want some fresh dates?

Then off to see where the races for the America's Cup will be held. They're getting ready for this round.

Team USA Oracle's spot.

Flags from all over the world...

The Golden Gate Bridge, still fogged in